Cinema in Canberra

NFSA's Arc Cinema

Arc Cinema is Canberra’s go-to spot for the culturally curious. Enjoy our curated program of recent releases and revived classics, from high art to guilty pleasures. There’s something for everyone!

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There’s something for everyone at Arc this winter, from Aussie comedy to crime, classic horror – even a karaoke party on the cinema stage, paired with a noughties cult favourite. And don’t miss a special family screening of '90s favourite Casper, with pizza on arrival.

Join us to mark National Reconciliation Week with screenings of The Last Daughter and Toomelah. We’re also honoured to co-present the BIRRARANGGA Film Festival: a curated selection of 15 feature-length and short films from First Nations creatives around the world, exploring themes of strength, resilience and the environment.

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Throughout July, get ready for the Paris 2024 Olympics with a suite of sports films to make you laugh, cry, cheer and challenge the status quo. Revisit classics like Chariots of Fire and Rocky, introduce your kids to family favourites Cool Runnings and Bend It Like Beckham on the big screen, and discover thought-provoking documentary Life Is Not a Competition, But I’m Winning and Australian drama Kairos.

This month, we’re also presenting our second series of Progress 1984 events, which mark 40 years since the royal commission into British nuclear weapons testing in Australia. Don’t miss three special screenings and a Q&A with acclaimed filmmaker and legal academic Prof Larissa Behrendt AO.

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In August, we shine a spotlight on Australian women in film, showcasing early career highlights of cinematographer Ari Wegner: the second woman ever to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Cinematography. Plus, join us for a thought-provoking panel discussion with industry leaders, exploring the challenges and opportunities for Australian women working in film. 

It’s also a month brimming with music and dance, with family classics Annie and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on the bill as well as Australian road-trip musical Bran Nue Dae, starring Jessica Mauboy and Ernie Dingo.

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Partner series

The NFSA is a place for conversation and collaboration. Explore our year-long partner series that bring together independent artists, cutting-edge researchers and other arts and cultural organisations. 

With Venus Mantrap
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Cult Classics

A series of Friday night filmic feasts showcasing cinema with bite: edgy movies and fan favourites that unnerve, push buttons, ask questions, or just look good on the big screen! Each event includes a performance and introduction to the film from series host Venus Mantrap: local drag artist and culture warrior.

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Canberra Writers Festival
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Book Club at the NFSA

Perfect for bookworms and film buffs alike, this series of screenings and discussions spans a variety of genres, styles and subjects, from Little Women to Australian grunge lit and everything in between. Presented in partnership with Canberra Writers Festival. 

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National Gallery of Australia
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Art Meets Film

A free program of film screenings presented in partnership by the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) and the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA), with introductions from NGA curators. Each film pairs with an NGA exhibition.

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Australian National University
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Science. Art. Film.

A free series of screenings and panel discussions that uncover wacky, weird and wonderful facets of science and art in films. Presented in partnership with the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science and the Australian National University (ANU) Humanities Research Centre. 

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Only cinema in Canberra I like. Great quality screen and sound. Comfortable seats. Air conditioning good temperature all year round. Friendly staff.
Carla Anderson Google review
A must for ANY film, TV or sound buff (or combination) whilst in Canberra – great display of Australia's audiovisual heritage! First-class staff too.
Matt Thompson Facebook review
Spent an hour or two in this fab old building looking at old Aussie newsreels and general film history. Different and worth it.
Mel C Tripadvisor review

We’re open daily on McCoy Circuit in Acton’s cultural precinct. Plan your visit 

Join Club NFSA to get free entry to every seventh paid screening, event or exhibition. Request a Club NFSA card at Reception and have your card stamped each time you visit (excludes premium and external events). 

Extend your visit and explore our unique Art Deco building, from the curious collection of artefacts on display in The Library to the immersive Temple exhibition in the Gallery. Visit the team from Church Neighbourhood Goods at our onsite cafe and bar to enjoy a locally roasted coffee, a Canberra brew or a tasty treat. Learn more